Lady Vols focused on fixing defensive leaks

Lady Vols 'go back to the drawing board'

Tennessee's Meighan Simmons (10) reacts after missing a basket during the game against Vanderbilt on at Vanderbilt's Memorial Gymnasium on Sunday, January 12, 2014. Vanderbilt won 74-63. 
  
 (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, 2014 Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee's Meighan Simmons (10) reacts after missing a basket during the game against Vanderbilt on at Vanderbilt's Memorial Gymnasium on Sunday, January 12, 2014. Vanderbilt won 74-63. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee’s usual airtight SEC women’s basketball stature has sprung a leak — a pretty sizable one, too.

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Comments » 17

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

I don't think in the history of the Lady Vols they had two players get technical fouls in 2 out of 3 games which caused them to foul out and the team lost their point scorers ultimately losing the game.
I don't believe Coach Summitt would have condoned the lack of composure and discipline of cruise missile Simmons and pouty Harrison.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

Posters on this article, PLEASE don't take the bait!!!!

MaxVolFan writes:

I might be reaching a little bit but we have the most talented team in the country with Uconn barely winning out. Any of our starters could start for any team in the country (again but Uconn). I watched the Baylor/Uconn game and let me tell u if we played with that much heart that Baylor played with but with our talent we beat Uconn easily. We lack heart and smarts. We fold under pressure when we should rise to the occasion . Sure Ariel was 1of9 from the field but she should have not abandoned her shots. I am not giving up on my lady Vols because I know they have it in them. The Monday night game will prove if they can persevere. Can they bounce back? Monday we will see. I'm not even worried about the MissSt game that's not going to tell u where they are. Every team has a weakness I hope UT can expose with its talent. I just hope we believe in ourselves and play smarter basketball

oldster writes:

The first thing they need to remember is that the first priority in any defensive situation is to STOP THE BALL. I do not care if your man is standing under the basket, if the ball is being driven down the lane, you must STOP THE BALL.

Allenfan writes:

We were outplayed and they were better prepared. I keep hoping she can figure it out, but it looks doubtful. We recruit and get the same girls as everyone top team goes after, so saying our girls are lazy and weak is a joke. Pick any top ten coach and give them our team and see what happens. She is not really a very good head coach. I get so tired of hearing the excuses. Vanderbilt screened better, they certainly played better defense than we did. It is sad to say, but the next thing you will see is the top girls going elsewhere, and with average players, we will soon be in the lower section of the SEC. I hope the Athletic Director can see this as everyone else does and doesn't allow us to hit rock bottom before a move is made.

CaptainPicard writes:

I strongly believe that you can look at the stats from the UCONN-Baylor game and realize the biggest problem with the LVs. All 5 UCONN starters played at least 30 minutes. This is one of the main reasons why they are so consistently good on defense and offense. Only 2 of TENN starters played at least 30 minutes in the VANDY game. This is one of the reasons why they are so inconsistent on defense and offense. Holly likes to play 9 players in a game with frequent substitutions. She needs to adopt Geno's coaching strategy.

MaxVolFan writes:

in response to CaptainPicard:

I strongly believe that you can look at the stats from the UCONN-Baylor game and realize the biggest problem with the LVs. All 5 UCONN starters played at least 30 minutes. This is one of the main reasons why they are so consistently good on defense and offense. Only 2 of TENN starters played at least 30 minutes in the VANDY game. This is one of the reasons why they are so inconsistent on defense and offense. Holly likes to play 9 players in a game with frequent substitutions. She needs to adopt Geno's coaching strategy.

I totally agree with you on the substitutions. You keep your best players on the floor until they stop you. I would put my best on the court and let them grow. You substitute when your player needs a rest or in foul trouble or when the game is well in hand. We substitute to wear down a team but that doesn't matter because teams can take there time and find seams because we overplay way too much. We have got to play smarter.

nanny334#1419965 writes:

I totally disagree with Holly.. It is a coach's responsibility to have her players ready to play against ball screens. There is nothing wrong with the effort put forth by these girls. Until Holly realizes that the problem is her coaching and not with the team we will continue to be a middle of the SEC team..

Allenfan writes:

in response to nanny334#1419965:

I totally disagree with Holly.. It is a coach's responsibility to have her players ready to play against ball screens. There is nothing wrong with the effort put forth by these girls. Until Holly realizes that the problem is her coaching and not with the team we will continue to be a middle of the SEC team..

Thank you for that post. We aren't seeing a lot of Holly supporters, so I think everyone is starting to see what the real problem is. If you can't win against average teams with the best talent in the SEC, then we are doomed. It is so very sad when the final four is in Nashville. Instead of Grind for Nine, our motto should be Grind for Time, and let the five best players play, and the rest work for their minutes. They would certainly step up after sitting on the bench for a game or two, and maybe make up for the horrible coaching that we are enduring.

ljlongtimevolfan writes:

Defense and team chemistry on the court is lacking with this team and only the coaching staff can make these adjustments with the right player combinations and some stern disciple. I think Holly is a good coach and will find the right player combinations but is too close with the players. We have lost two SEC games when technical fouls have been called on players for arguing called fouls. These technical were momentum changers. I have never seen a ref reverse their call when a player argues the called foul. We need to toughen up and stop crying, complaining, pouting and start playing fundamental defense. Bench a player the next game when they argue with the ref’s on a called foul and receives a technical. Simmons is just worthless on defense and just looks foolish trying to defend. Instead of taking a charge she will jump out of the path of an opposing player. We only have four players playing defense with her in the lineup which has to be demoralizing to the other players on the team but only graduation will solve this problem unless the coaching staff gets tough and replaces her with someone like Carter that can play defense. We should beat Mississippi State by at least 30 points but the real test will be against Notre Dame.

wigmeister writes:

Players have to play to their potential, but it is the coaches responsibility to them to bring out that potential. Not happening. Also, CHW is a terrible game coach. Hart either sees this or is dumber than I thought. Of course, he gave CCM a raise for losing in the NIT!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to wigmeister:

Players have to play to their potential, but it is the coaches responsibility to them to bring out that potential. Not happening. Also, CHW is a terrible game coach. Hart either sees this or is dumber than I thought. Of course, he gave CCM a raise for losing in the NIT!

I think Hart gave Martin that raise to say, "there's more where that came from if you come through on your end". I think Holly made by far the most sense to follow Pat, even without a head coaching background. It would have been relatively easy to hide a simple lack of in-game coaching ability, as some would see it, behind an excuse of newness in the job and some personnel uncertainty, all the while maintaining a facade of familiar outward appearances, so I'm not sure anybody could have concluded before now that Holly just IS NOT a good game coach. After all, even really good coaches don't catch every trick. I'm not saying Holly makes every "correct" coaching move at every crucial moment, and she may even be aware that she doesn't do enough of that. I am saying that when the players keep their heads in the game, the coaches look better, since I'm pretty sure the coaches aren't TELLING them to stink it up. The converse is also true.

ATL_VOL_FAN writes:

How can one of the hallmarks of your program be reduced to ashes? I believe this is a very talented team that has the ability to go far with the proper development and coaching, however, something is amiss. Stanford exposed their warts (for the 2nd time) and teams continue to do so. Why has Russell been kept in a crypt somewhere? Why isn't she on the floor as an impact player or does she have to wait in line until next year? Graves production seems to have declined and doesn't seem very happy at all. Unless this weeks practice yields monumental gains on defense and game planning, I don't see a win over a very disciplined Notre Dame team unless they're experiencing jet lag. With as much talent on this team, they should be undefeated!

MaxVolFan writes:

We lack the heart this team once had. This Grind for nine is a good slogan but are the players doing what it takes to get there? Are the coaches doing their homework to get there? This team panicks under duress and pressure and too emotional. And I'm gonna say this. I don't think they are focused enough. Geno's team isnt allowed to use social media at all during the season. Our team does. Is that a distraction? It very well can be. We have got to play smarter basketball. That's all! We have the talent and the depth.

CaptainPicard writes:

in response to MaxVolFan:

We lack the heart this team once had. This Grind for nine is a good slogan but are the players doing what it takes to get there? Are the coaches doing their homework to get there? This team panicks under duress and pressure and too emotional. And I'm gonna say this. I don't think they are focused enough. Geno's team isnt allowed to use social media at all during the season. Our team does. Is that a distraction? It very well can be. We have got to play smarter basketball. That's all! We have the talent and the depth.

Social media is a distraction to the LVs and any other team. I know it is unfair to compare Holly with Geno. However, she needs to learn from him and Pat. She needs to take the good things from each great coach, not the bad things. Because of her greatness, Pat was able to get by with frequent player substitution and frequent starting lineups. However, these are bad procedures for Holly to use. They destroys team consistency especially on defense. Holly needs to limit the distractions to the players. She needs to establish a consistent starting lineup and let each starter play for an average of 30 minutes in a game. Notre Dame will defeat the LVs by at least 30 points if she does not establish these procedures.

kds7ontb#1427512 writes:

in response to ljlongtimevolfan:

Defense and team chemistry on the court is lacking with this team and only the coaching staff can make these adjustments with the right player combinations and some stern disciple. I think Holly is a good coach and will find the right player combinations but is too close with the players. We have lost two SEC games when technical fouls have been called on players for arguing called fouls. These technical were momentum changers. I have never seen a ref reverse their call when a player argues the called foul. We need to toughen up and stop crying, complaining, pouting and start playing fundamental defense. Bench a player the next game when they argue with the ref’s on a called foul and receives a technical. Simmons is just worthless on defense and just looks foolish trying to defend. Instead of taking a charge she will jump out of the path of an opposing player. We only have four players playing defense with her in the lineup which has to be demoralizing to the other players on the team but only graduation will solve this problem unless the coaching staff gets tough and replaces her with someone like Carter that can play defense. We should beat Mississippi State by at least 30 points but the real test will be against Notre Dame.

Im sure that Simmons is not the only one who in your eyes moved out the way or doesn't defend well. Lets keep it moving. Your kidding right.

RLL59 writes:

in response to CaptainPicard:

Social media is a distraction to the LVs and any other team. I know it is unfair to compare Holly with Geno. However, she needs to learn from him and Pat. She needs to take the good things from each great coach, not the bad things. Because of her greatness, Pat was able to get by with frequent player substitution and frequent starting lineups. However, these are bad procedures for Holly to use. They destroys team consistency especially on defense. Holly needs to limit the distractions to the players. She needs to establish a consistent starting lineup and let each starter play for an average of 30 minutes in a game. Notre Dame will defeat the LVs by at least 30 points if she does not establish these procedures.

Agree on most said by you and Maxvolfan except that the substitution/line up changes weren't working for Coach Summitt the last years either. The game and players are changing and the strategies have to be modified as well. Someone once said that if you look around and everyone else is doing something different than you, it's probably not that they're all wrong.

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